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IMAX opens in time for summer blockbusters
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Zoey Cao, left, Vivian and Denver Chu, and Andrew Cao, right, test out 3D glasses before an IMAX movie at AMC Theatres. The new feature is popular with movie-goers. - photo by Autumn McBride

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* Fans look forward to final 'Potter.'

Allison Clapp took sons Randy and David to see "Cars II" at AMC Avenue Forsyth 12 earlier this week.

While the family has seen many films at the theater complex, which is close to their home, this experience was different.

It was the first time the Clapps had seen a film on the new and very large IMAX screen at the theater, located in the Avenue outdoor shopping mall at Ga. 400 and Peachtree Parkway.

The IMAX screen and auditorium opened in late June.

"The graphics were fantastic in 3-D," Allison Clapp said. "We’ve been to other IMAX films, but they’re all so far from home. It’s great to have this one so close to home."

Her sons echoed her sentiments.

"It looks incredible and the 3-D was amazing," said Randy Clapp, 14.

David Clapp, 10, said the family switched their tickets for "Cars II" after noticing the new feature.

"I wasn’t expecting an IMAX sign to be here, but then there it was," he said. "We got here early, so we switched our tickets out to see the IMAX show."

The theater held a "soft opening" of the new facility on June 24, but will hold an official "ticket tearing" grand opening at 11 a.m. Friday.

The event will tie in with the premiere of the final installment of the Harry Potter films.

The theater will hold a midnight showing tonight of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II," which has sold out.

A 3 a.m. showing was recently added to accommodate the large crowds wanting to be among the first for the finale, based on the worldwide, best-selling books by J.K. Rowling of England.

Ryan Noonan, a spokesman for AMC, said the IMAX experience is ideal for big, action-packed movies such as the last Harry Potter.

"It’s a great way to watch a movie," he said. "We love being able to provide that option for our customers."

IMAX screens, he said, are 25 percent larger than standard ones and the sound systems provide "three times the power."

"The auditoriums are also modified to ensure superior sight lines and angles, and the sound quality is more immersive," he said.

Noonan said about 115 of AMC Theatres’ some 360 facilities nationwide are IMAX sites.

"We’ve had a very good feedback from all our guests about the IMAX experience," he said.

Besides the grand opening, the Forsyth complex will also hold a Harry Potter fan party from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday.

According to a news release from AMC, the party will feature "games, prizes and more," including Harry Potter ticket giveaways.